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Shopper study: Private brands purchased because they’re preferred

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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A new study by Bazaarvoice has found private brands becoming a preference, not a replacement. The growth of private label was one section within its broader “2021 Shopper Experience Index” report.

The user reviews and user-generated-content platform studied data from more than 11,500 brand and retailer websites in its network, surveyed more than 6,000 consumers globally, and pulled data from the more than six million members of its Influenster product review and discovery platform. 

Bazaarvoice found that improved consumer perception of private label products has made them sought-after offerings. The survey results showed that 55% of shoppers had purchased private label in the past year and nearly 60% said they did so because they liked the product. By comparison, 52% said they bought the store brand to save money.

Further results showed that the majority of consumers surveyed purchased private label in the grocery vertical (57%), followed by apparel and accessories (47%) and home goods (46%). The pandemic obviously fueled a lot of private brand purchasing within essential goods over the last year, as 60% of shoppers reported that they were seeing product shortages. The report said private brand pricing can be 20-25% less expensive than a national brand, but 2 in 3 shoppers believe store brands are just as high in quality as name brands.

The majority of consumers surveyed purchased private label in the grocery vertical (57%), followed by apparel and accessories (47%) and home goods (46%).

“COVID-19 has not only drastically changed consumers’ shopping habits, but accelerated the trends already in motion before it began,” said Keith Nealon, CEO at Bazaarvoice. “But even though more shoppers are utilizing e-commerce than ever before, they still want the brick-and-mortar experience of truly getting to know the product they’re buying. As the pandemic continues, brands and retailers must have an omnichannel approach so their consumers can shop, and meet them where they want, when they want. No matter what channel consumers shop through, brands need to bring the in-store experience to the shoppers front door, and leave them with the confidence to make the right purchase decision.”

The global report from Austin, Texas-based Bazaarvoice also highlighted social commerce, product sampling and digital shopping trends. Highlights include:

  • 32% of U.S. shoppers said they use social media to discover new products;
  • 36% of American shoppers say they’ve reduced their in-store trips, 18% said they’re only going in-store for essentials, and 20% said they are not shopping in-store at all currently;
  • 49% of shoppers said they would choose in-store shopping over buying online next year;
  • 82% of shoppers like the idea of receiving free samples, while 53% are willing to write a review of the free products they’ve received, and 28% say they’ll even post on social media; and
  • 63% say they’ve purchased the products they sampled again.

For the complete results of the annual index study, visit this link at Bazaarvoice.